You take the moon and you take the sun, You take everything that seems like fun! You stir it all up and when you're done, Radda radda radda radda radda radda!
From C.H. Greenblatt, formerly a writer and storyboard artist on both SpongeBob SquarePants and The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy, comes this little crazy series inspired by food and Dr. Seuss.Set in Marzipan City, an odd place full of weird and wonderful creatures, and even weirder and more wonderful foods, the show tells the story of Chowder, a little fat lavender bear-cat-rabbit boy who is the apprentice of Mung Daal, chef and owner of his namesake catering company. Along with Shnitzel, the gigantic rock monster who works as a cleanernote Though Schnitzel is often there to help out Mung Daal with things that require someone other than Chowder to make, or to do things Mung himself is not strong enough to do and can only say "Radda" (though everyone still understands him), and Truffles, Daal's fairy wife, they spend many crazy and wacky adventures together in the realm of cooking, while Chowder dreams of one day becoming a chef himself, though his eating habits might prove a problem...The series finale aired August 7, 2010. In it, Chowder holds a single note for twenty years. While he's singing, the characters around him are continuing with their lives without him there, and Chowder must find out how to become a master chef, and how to fix the people's lives which he has so heavily influenced. Everything in the show is resolved in this Grand Finale. Series creator C. H. Greenblatt guest stars as adult Chowder.The series returned through Cartoon Planet in 2012 as a part of Cartoon Network's 20th anniversary. As of March 2013, you can also find it on Netflix.Now with a recap and Shout Out page!
Chowder provides examples of:
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Absentee Actor: "The Apprentice Scouts" has the distinction of being the only episode Mung doesn't appear in.
Mung's absence is lampshaded in "A Faire to Remember", then subverted as he does appear just before the episode ends.
Parodied in one episode when Truffles pops up out of nowhere asking if she can help solve a problem and Chowder responds:
Chowder:No. You're not in this episode.
Abusive Parents: It's usually implied and/or outright stated that Gazpacho is emotionally and socially abused by his mother.
Ambiguously Bi: Reuben, the pig that evaluates Mung and Endive for their "Certifrycate" re-certification, seems interested in Endive. In another episode, when he meets Shnitzel, he goes "You're tall." Not to mention all the swimsuit clad men on his boat.
Mung Daal, who occasionally has Ho Yay moments with Shnitzel and crossdresses on multiple occasions.
Truffles: Why am I always catching you in tights?
Jeff the Tapeworm, who seems awfully attached to Chowder. No pun intended.
There was also the police officer Snow Leopard. Rawr.
An Aesop: The Veggie Guru's song contains one that is surprisingly not green, and also surprisingly powerful. It's intended for both children and adults. It says that in order for a child to be raised correctly, it needs to be both nurtured and disciplined, and uses the way plants grow as a metaphor. Mung Daal is the "gentle touch" and Truffles is the "firm hand". Unfortunately, it's broken at the end of the episode where Chowder ignores both Truffles and Mung Daal to fawn over Shnitzel, who "saved them". This was probably on purpose.
Angrish: It is heavily implied that Shnitzel's entire language is this.
Sorta confirmed, when Truffles got her voice changed, everyone was stress free and Schnitzel could talk. No one liked it, so he started speaking "Radda" again after about five seconds.
Anthropomorphic Food: About half of what they cook comes to life, and a lot of the ingredients are mobile fruit.
Arbitrary Skepticism: No matter how many horrible freak accidents he gets into, Mung refuses to believe that there's a real curse on the Chain Letter recipe he received.
Art Shift: Occurs during the climax of "Burple Nurples" where we see Chowder's face (still animated) with slightly greater detail, including being able to discern his fur (which otherwise appears undefined and uniformly solid over his body).
Artifact Title: In-Universe. Chowder now owns Mung Daal's Catering Company. Mung himself retired.
As You Know: Lampshaded. After Chowder asks Mung several questions pertaining to the plot of the episode, Chowder asks him why he asks so many questions. Mung replies that it's the easiest way for their loyal fanbase to learn what's happening.
Chowder: (waving to the screen) Hi, loyal fanbase!
Ascended Extra: Gazpacho, who started out on the same level with Gorgonzola and Endive to appearing in virtually every episode, even for just a minute.
Author Avatar: Greenblatt appears in puppet form in "Shnitzel Quits" and "Endive's Dirty Secret".
Not to mention "Old Man Thyme", where he's dogpiled by a Wave of Babies.
Beautiful All Along: Subverted with Todd from "Sheboodles!". Everyone (sans Endive) likes him and say that he's beautiful the way he is. Then Endive sticks him under a heat lamp to finish cooking and transforms him into a stud, which is his true form.
Blackmail: One episode featured everyone in town ((including Gazpacho's Mother) blackmailing Miss Endive with an embarrassing picture of her eating toe jam with a fork which is disgusting because everyone else uses a spoon.
Blind Driving: One episode had a Mr. Magoo-esque character driving across the city, with police giving chase, and crashing into Mung Daal's kitchen, mistaking it for his home.
Book Ends: Grumble Gum begins with Chowder eating a sample of grumble gum, hearing screams as he did so. The episode ends with Chowder eating another grumble gum like he did in the beginning... the difference that it's a Mind Screw of him eating everyone, including himself, after the Katamari scene.
Brick Joke: In "The Puckerberry Overlords" episode, Chowder ends up being sucked into his own mouth. After "Frank" captures him and takes him to Souron, Chowder eats a cherry and comments on how sour it is. A few moments later, it falls on Frank's head and knocks him to the floor.
Calvinball: Apparently, if the rules in Field Tournament Style Up and Down On the Ground Manja Flanja Blanja Banja Ishka Bibble Babble Flabble Doma Roma Floma Boma Jingle Jangle Every Angle Bricka Bracka Flacka Stacka Two Ton Rerun Free for All Big Ball made sense, the whole game would literally be trashed.
Actually scoring a goal in Field Tournament Style Up and Down On the Ground Manja Flanja Blanja Banja Ishka Bibble Babble Flabble Doma Roma Floma Boma Jingle Jangle Every Angle Bricka Bracka Flacka Stacka Two Ton Rerun Free for All Big Ball will literally trash the game.
Wait...Field Tournament Style Up and Down On the Ground Manja WHAT?!?!
Continuity Nod: When being interrogated by the police, Chowder breaks down and starts confessing to everything. After a brief time skip, he continues "-and the time my brain got big and I changed the show-"
Cool and Unusual Punishment: When someone filled Endive's pool with chocolate pudding, she demanded the culprits be "tickled mercilessly." In front of their children. Or burned at the stake. As long as it's in front of their children.
Couch Gag: There is always a different food in the oven during the theme song.
An in universe example: after Paté performs "I'm Not Your Boyfriend" (a song written by Chowder to Panini), everybody is singing it to themselves. Sort of like a Theme Tune Cameo, except "I'm Not Your Boyfriend" isn't the theme song.
The Sing Beans' song is also a huge in universe Ear Worm. When the citizens start hearing it, it's contagious melody makes them sing it.
The Eighties: The party in "Sheboodles!", complete with everyone dressing up as famous stars of that time. (Ex, Madonna, Michael Jackson, Boy George, etc)
Embarrassing Slide: In "The Heist", a puppet gives a lecture on how sugar sapphires are formed accompanied by a series of slides. The last one is a shot of a sexy Farmer's Daughter, and he excitedly tells them to stay on that slide.
Evil Sounds Deep: Chowder, after being possessed by the poultrygeist Florentine. Strangely, the voice of Florentine by himself was not deep, nor was his voice after he possessed the newly cooked flurkey.
Eye Scream: Chowder gently tosses a spoon at Gorgonzola's forehead, which for some reason causes him to clutch his eye, screaming "MY EYE! MY EYE!"
Flanderization: Panini, as her crush on Chowder goes from being simply clingy in earlier episodes to downright obsessed with him in later ones.
Chowder himself doesn't fare much better either. In earlier episodes, he was simply a very eager yet rather naive child who hoped to someday become a great chef. Now, he's a hyperactive and highly incompetent idiot who is a danger to everyone around him.
This is especially evident when in one episode, he's so incompetent he's considered a "scatterbrain" and is so dim-witted he thinks a SPOON belongs in an electrical socket. Compare this to an earlier episode, in which Chowder's main flaw is a moderate case of ADD and is simply very naive.
Truffles has gone from being rather stern and more down-to-earth as well as talking pleasantly and quietly to the cutomers to being ridiculously bossy and having No Indoor Voice at all.
Remember in the earlier episodes when Mung Daal was simply known for his professional cooking skills and for being a good role-model for Chowder? Fast forward to more recent episodes where any mention of Mung Daal's cooking skills are almost non-existent (except for when his failures are pointed out) and he's near-constantly portrayed as something of a Small Name, Big Ego-esque pervert.
Endive went from simply being Muung's rival to deliberately tormenting Muung over the course of the series.
Shnitzel has gone from being the Straight Man (in contrast with the more wacky characters such as Chowder...) to being either the Chew Toy or the Butt Monkey depending on the episode.
The Ghost: Gazpacho often talks about his mother, but she has yet to make an appearance.
She...kind of appeared in Gazpacho's Day in the Limelight episode. She appeared as a puppet once, and then a portion of her (that looked nothing like the puppet) was shown.
There was also that one episode where Endive was continuously blackmailed by EVERYONE; in the near-end of the episode Gazpacho's mother is also TECHNICALLY in the pool (He talks to his mother after getting thrown by a beach ball or something offscreen).
Gigantic Gulp: In "The Vacation," Chowder is seen drinking a literal "bottomless soda."
Gonk: Todd. Everyone (except Endive) still loved him though.
Lethal Chef: Literally. In an early episode, Chowder accidentally adds rat poison to his Burple Nurple recipe. Since Mung doesn't want to crush his dreams, he's forced to try and get the Nurples away from Chowder by any means necessary. Including theft.
Let's Meet the Meat: Some of the dishes that Mung creates (like the giant roast), have eyes and mouths, appearing to be alive. Also, the Thrice Cream Man.
Played with in one episode had a "Queen Meach" surrounded by a squad of very aggressive soldier Meaches guarding her. Once the team explained they wanted to make her into a delicious pie, they were let through. The Meach Queen was still alive even after being made into a pie and eaten.
He might be a type of fey, his wife's a mushroom pixie, after all.
Long Title: Episode "Big Ball" is actually titled "Field Tournament Style Up and Down On the Ground Manja Flanja Blanja Banja Ishka Bibble Babble Flabble Doma Roma Floma Boma Jingle Jangle Every Angle Bricka Bracka Flacka Stacka Two Ton Rerun Free for All Big Ball".
Love Triangle: Marmalade loves Ceviché who loves Panini, who loves Chowder.
One episode implied that Endive might have a crush on Mung...
Medium Blending: The end credits feature puppet versions of the characters, which for some reason the Cartoon Network doesn't use. You can see what they look like Here and here. The show has also gone into puppet, claymation, and paper cutout mode, used animated sand in "The Lead Farfel", and had a CGI character in "The Deadly Maze". Not to mention stop motion food in the Idiosyncratic Wipes.
Cartoon Network in Scandinavia uses the end credit puppets, although not consistently.
Cartoon Network UK on the other hand used them as they were supposed to be.
Motive Decay: Chowder was Mung's apprentice because he wanted to be a great chef but in "Chowder Grows Up", he wanted to stay young and be Mung's apprentice forever.
Multiple Choice Past: Inverted in the finale. After Adult Chowder marries Panini, Young Chowder suddenly shows up and, in utter rage and disgust, informs his future self that he rejects this future before being chased off by young Panini. True to this show's grasp of reality, the only reaction the adult versions of Chowder and Panini have toward this is to look longingly after their younger selves and remark how cute the two of them were as kids.
Gorgonzola's head shape implies that he has a huge brain. He's also portrayed as much more intelligent. Kinda...
My God, What Have I Done?: Chowder in aforementioned "Brain Grub". Chowder, after gaining Medium Awareness, turns the show into something smarter via sheer brainpower. Unfortunately, it also turns the show boring, prompting one of these reactions.
Endive also has a moment of her own, when during an episode where Mung Daal and Chowder are forced to work for her to obtain a Mood Fruit, she forces them into a room to peel Growtatoes, which will keep growing until completely peeled, in an attempt to break Mung's spirit. After hearing an unsettling squelch, though, she comes to the realization she may have crushed both of them instead, and says this nearly word for word. Fortunately, they're alright, and she breifly shows relief before masking it under disappointment.
Never Say "Die": Averted, oddly. This is one of the few kids shows that cheerfully uses death for humor.
Definitely averted in "The Dinner Theater", where Chowder plotted to have Panini killed (when she was standing in front of him) just so he can catch the murderer in the act. Probably one of the rare Jerk Ass (and downright cruel) moment from the titular character.
The same episode, where he spent the entire episode in a panic because he thought someone else (specifically Gazpacho, who was playing the villain, but he wasn't sure at the time) was going to kill her, so he tried to figure it out because he was playing the detective? Sounds more like a very Cloud Cuckoolander investigation technique to me.
"The Prank" had Endive's prank going so far she accidentally killed Mung Daal and had to find a way to get rid of the evidence that Chowder ate. Though the trope's played straight here.
Nice Hat: Chowder's purple hat. A secondary character named Ancho takes pride in his own hat in "Chowder Loses His Hat."
Nitro Express: In "The Blast Raz", the gang have to deliver a crate of highly explosive and unstable blast raz fruit. Their route takes them over a pothole-filled road, across a storm-tossed lake and up the side of an active volcano.
And then there's Endive and Schnitzel in the finale.
No Fourth Wall: It couldn't be more blatantly obvious. One egregious example of Medium Awareness is when Chowder scribbles on the screen and then Gazpacho erases it. Chowder points to the CN logo at the bottom of the screen, asking if it will come off, to which Gazpacho says, "That doesn't come off, I've tried." Sadly, the third season seems to have rebuilt the fourth wall for the most part.
One even MORE egregious example is when the gang spends all of Truffles' money. Mung says now that they've run out, they aren't scared that Truffles will find out, they're scared because now there's isn't enough money for the animation. The scene then cuts to the voice actors (still voice acting) hosting a car wash to raise enough money to get the animation budget back.
"I'm going as fast as I can, woman! These things take time!" "We've only got 11 minutes..."
While in the Deadly Maze, Chowder flees a giant chicken and runs into a physical representation of his conscience.
Conscience: You have to go back and save Gumbo!
Chowder: Are you sure? 'Cause Gumbo said he wants to hurt Mung.
Conscience: Trust me, he'll never pull it off. The episode's not long enough.
Mung: "Worst of all, YOU MADE THE VIEWERS CRY!!!"
In "The Heist" after Endive demands money for all of the gems (under her estate) that was destroyed, Mung exclaims, "There won't be enough money left in the budget for the third season!" Followed by Chowder stating that he "had so many more jokes to tell".
If you don't get the joke, the third season isn't only the final season, but is also only 7 episodes compared to the 20 of the previous two.
In "The Garden" the very first lines spoken was Mung telling Chowder, "So anyway this is going to be the best episode ever, because I'm gonna show you where food comes from!"
"What's Chowder's favorite cartoon!? I bet it's Chowder!"
Chowder's stated reason for not wanting to grow up and stop being Mung's apprentice in the Series Finale is that the show is about him being an apprentice.
Only One Name: None of the characters seem to have last name at all (except perhaps Mung Daal).
And judging by how other characters address her, Miss Endive's first name is never revealed.
Only the Author Can Save Them Now: Done In-Universe and played for laughs in one episode where the cartoonist literally picks Shnitzel up and saves him from a deadly fall. Then he sets him down on a cloud and talks to him.
And then there's the sheer family-unfriendly bleakness of Gazpacho's one-liners...
Gazpacho (explaining why Chowder can't stay up past his bedtime): If there's one thing mother's taught me, it's to sleep as much as you can. That way you don't have to face the horrible reality of what your life's become.
Perspective Magic: Endive looks around the same size at all times, but whenever any character climbs on her they're suddenly tiny as a joke on her size.
Right on Queue: One of the first episodes involved Shnitzel and Chowder spending nearly the entire episode waiting on line at the bank. Not only did poor Shnitzel have to deal with long, slow-moving lines and customers who were depositing huge amounts of change, he also had to put up with Chowder's shenanigans.
The Rival: Endive to Mung Daal, Gorgonzola to Chowder.
Or at least, Gorgonzola tries to be this to Chowder, but Chowder's overly positive attitude kind of throws him off.
Screwed by the Network: During the first season, the airing of new episodes was frequently delayed, and recent new "episodes" are just one 15-minute segment where the other is a rerun (or a previous new episode).
And, depending on the time of day and your native country, how the CN logo often didn't actually show up in the correct corner during the "Don't write there!" gag until a permanent one was drawn into the episode.
Screw the Rules, I Make Them!: The Cinnimini monster's rule 87, stating that Mung and Chowder cannot leave until beating him, and he cheats constantly in all but the first game.
And of course, he then refuses to let them leave even when Truffles actually manages to win
Simultaneous Arcs: "The Wrong Address/The Wrong Customer": During "The Wrong Address" Chowder and Mung see a seemingly insignificant police chase and go about their business. At the end they return home to find it destroyed and Truffles being arrested. In "The Wrong Customer" we find out that the police were chasing an old, blind, and (apparently) dangerous owl, who causes Mung's place to be destroyed. Truffles being arrested is a seperate but somewhat related matter.
Spell My Name with an S: There is no "C" in Shnitzel, and "radda" has two D's in it. The closed captioning alone manages to get both of these wrong quite often, but it was most egregious when Cartoon Network made a "Rada-pendence day" [sic] special of Chowder episodes for Independence Day.
Lampshaded in "A Little Bit of Pizzazz" where Panini goes after Chowder- really Daal in the chubby body after the "Freaky Friday" Flip cooking accident- and gets brushed off by him in an eating binge. She makes a comment to the effect of "I need a new obsession."
Status Quo Is God: Parodied in "The Toots" when Gorgonzola's wealth vanishes instantly once Chowder retires from music.
Stealth Pun: The woman who is Gazpacho's mother Gazpacho in "The Spookiest House In Marzipan" says "I could just eat you up!" to Gorgonzola when she answers the door and sees him. I later remembered that all the characters, including Gorgonzola, are named after food, which you're supposed to eat.
In "Sheboodles", the cast holds an 1980s-themed costume party. Gazpacho (voiced by Dana Snyder) dresses as Dee Snyder.
At first it may seem like just a minor joke that the days of the week are named after numbers (ie: Threesday, Foursday, Fivesday), but it's actually a joke based on how many people pronounce "Tuesday" as "Twosday."
Take That: "Gazpacho? Why are you dressed like a big nerd?"
The Tape Knew You Would Say That: Gazpacho's recording in "Chowder Grows Up". It even says "Wait! I'm still talking!" when Mung closes the shutter while it is still playing.
Technician Versus Performer: Endive is the Baker/Technician and Mung Daal is the Cook/Performer. Many episodes, however, show that they're both equally competent, just different in their style and temperaments.
Theme Naming: Most of the characters and things in the show are named after food.
Similarly, all the members of the Marzipan police are named after sandwiches.
Theme Tune Cameo: One episode had Shnitzel being forced to confront his mysterious past. As punishment, he (literally) faced the music by having them sing the show's theme song. Chowder hummed along while Shnitzel begged them to stop.
Your Size May Vary: Endive, who changes size from episode to episode and sometimes even within the same episode.
At one point Chowder has to climb up her back to get something and she's the size of a mountain. When she realizes Chowder is there she freaks out and begins jumping around in an attempt to get him off, at which point she's a bit taller than Shnitzel. Her size is dependent on what the story needs.
You don't know what you're missin'... if you aren't in the kitchen!